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a superior quality ; because the subjects which fell in his way were occasionally of an higher nature, out of which more improvement would arise to those that heard him: and it is now much to be lamented, that so many of them have run to waste *. · An allusion to the life of Dr. Johnson, reminds' me how much it was wished, and by Dr. Horne in particular, who well knew and highly valued him, that Johnson would have directed the force of his understanding against that modern paper-building of philosophical infidelity, which is founded in pride and ignorance, and supported by sensuality and ridicule. A great personage was of opinion, that Johnson, so employed, would have borne them down with the weight of his language : and he is reported to have expressed his sentiment with singular felicity to a certain person, when the mischievous writings of Voltaire were brought into question : “I wish Johnson would ko mount his dray-horse, and ride over some of those *** fellows.” Against those fellows Dr. Horne employed much of his time, and some of the most useful of his talents : not mounted upon a dray-horse to overbear them ; but upon a light courser, to hunt them B 3 :


* A collection of his thoughts on various subjects is preserved in a manuscript, written with his own hand.

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fairly down; with such easy arguments, and pleasant reflections, as render them completely absurd and ridi. culous : an account of which will come before us in {he proper place. His Considerations on the Life and Death of St. John the Baptist, and his Sermon preached in St. Sepulchre's church at London, for the benefit of a Charity-school for girls, on the Female Character, seem to me, above all the rest of his compositions, to mark the peculiar temper of his mind, and the direction of his thoughts. When I read his book on John the Baptist, I am persuaded, there was no other man of his time, whose fancy, as a writer, was bright enough, whose skill, as an interpreter, was deep enough, and whose heart, as a moralist, was pure enough to have made him the author of that little work. His Female Character, as it stands in the sermon above-mentioned, now printed in his fourth volume, displays so much judgment in discriminating, such gentle benevolence of heart, and so much of the elegance of a polished understanding, in describing and doing justice to the sex ; that every sensible and virtuous woman, whọ shall read and consider that singular discourse, will bless his memory to the end of the world.

While we speak of those writings which are known to the public, you and I cannot forget his readiness


and excellence in writing letters; in which employment he always took delight from his earliest youth ; and never failed to entertain or instruct his correspondents. His mind had so much to communicate, and his words were so natural and lively, that I rank some of his letters among the most valuable productions of the kind. I have therefore reason to rejoice, that, amidst all my interruptions and removals, I have preserved more than a hundred of them ; in reviewing of which, I find many observations on the subjects of Religion, Learning, Politics, Manners, &c. which are equally instructive and entertaining; and would certainly be so esteemed, if they were communicated to the world ; at least, to the better part of it: for there were very few occurrences or transactions of any importance, either in the church, or the state, or the literary world, that escaped his observation; and in several of them he took an active part. But in familiar letters, not intended for the public eye (as none of his ever were) and suggested by the incidents of the time, some of them trivial and domestic, there will be of course many passages of less dignity than will entitle them to publication: yet, upon the whole, I am satisfied that a very useful selection might be made out of them;

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and and I will not despair of making it myself at some future opportunity *.

From an early acquaintance with Greek and Latin authors, and the gift of a lively imagination, he addicted himself to poetry; and some of his productions have been deservedly admired. But his studies were so soon turned from the treasures of classical wit to the sources of christian wisdom, that all his poetry is either upon sacred subjects, or upon a common subject applied to some sacred use; so that a pious reader will be sure to gain something by every poetical effort of his mind. And let me not omit another remarkable trait of his character. You can be a witness with me, and so could many others who were used to his company, that few souls were ever more susceptible than his of the charms of music, especially the sacred music of the church: at the hearing of which, his countenance was illuminated; as if he had been favoured


* In the Gentleman's Magazine for August, 1793, p. 688, I threw out a letter of Bishop Horne, as a specimen both of the style and of the usual subjects of his epistolary writings. It was the first that came to hand on opening a large parcel of them: and I may leave every reader to judge whether that letter be not curious and important. Compared with the present times, it seems prophetical.

with impressions beyond those of other men; as if heavenly vision had been superadded to earthly devotion. He therefore accounted it a peculiar happiness of his life, that, from the age of twenty years, he was constantly gratified with the service of a choir; at Magdalen College, at Canterbury, and at Norwich. His lot was cast by Providence amidst the sweets of cloystered retirement, and the daily use of divine harmony; for the enjoyment of both which he was framed by nature, and formed by a religious education. Upon the whole, I never knew a person, in whom those beautiful lines of Milton*, of which he was a great admirer, were more exactly verified:

But let my due feet never fail
To walk the studious cloyster's pale ;
And love the high embower'd roof
With antique pillars massy proof ;
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.
There let the pealing organ blow,
To the full voic'd quire below; .
In service high, and anthems clear,
As may, with sweetness through mine ear,
Dissolve me into ecstasies,
And bring all heav'n before my eyes.


* In the Il Penseroso.

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